Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Northeast in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Provisions for the City

Hub, Home, Heart

 

—Greater H Street NE Heritage Trail —

 
Provisions for the City Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2012
1. Provisions for the City Marker
Inscription. This high ground near the B&O Railroad tracks has been Union Terminal Market since 1931. That year Center Market on Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, came down to make way for the National Archives. Vendors seeking new locations clustered here.

Before the market arrived, this land was part of the Brentwood estate, and then the World War I-era Camp Meigs, an army training post. In the 1920s the Hechinger lumber yard replaced the camp. With the railroad so convenient, traveling circuses occasionally set up here.

Jewish, Greek, Italian, and African American vendors dominated the original market, including Fred Kolker and his Kolker Poultry. In the late 1950s, more businesses arrived as urban renewal closed the Southwest wholesale market. Among them was Washington Beef Company, belonging to Fred Kolker's uncle Sam. Every week Washington Beef employees unloaded and butchered five rail cars of beef carcasses for distribution to such customers as the Hot Shoppes and DC Public Schools. And each night a crew cleaned equipment to prepare for the federal inspector's regular morning visit. Sam's six sons and grandsons continued the business into the late 1980s.

A new wave of immigrant entrepreneurs, especially from China, El Salvador, Jamaica, and Korea, came in the 1980s.

Civil rights activist Nadine Winter, concerned about homeless
Camp Meigs image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2012
2. Camp Meigs
Before the market developed, Camp Meigs occupied this spot.
people at the market, created Hospitality House to assist them. In 1962 Hospitality House opened a family shelter at 507 Florida Avenue. Winter later helped establish a community credit union on H Street, worked for federally supported urban homesteading, and, in 1974, was elected to the first of four terms on the DC City Council, representing Ward 6.

(Back):
Trains and streetcars created the Near Northeast neighborhood around H Street. The B&O Railroad's arrival in 1835 made this a center of energetic, working-class life. Workmen living north of the Capitol staffed the Government Printing Office, ran the trains, stocked the warehouses, and built Union Station. When a streetcar arrived linking H Street to downtown, new construction quickly followed.

H Street bustled with shops and offices run by Jewish, Italian, Lebanese, Greek, Irish, and African American families. During the segregation era, which lasted into the 1950s, African Americans came to H Street for its department stores and sit-down restaurants. Most businesses welcomed all customers.

Then came the civil disturbances in the wake of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination in 1968. Decades of commercial decline followed. Just off H Street, though, the strong residential community endured. The 2005 opening of the Atlas Performing Arts Center signaled a revival, building
Circuses and Truck Farmers image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2012
3. Circuses and Truck Farmers
Top: Alice Roosevelt Longworth and daughter Paulina visited the circus here in 1926.

Bottom: Truck farmers' stands in the shed at Union Terminal Market, 1940s.
evocatively on H Street's past. Hub, Home, Heart is a bridge to carry you from that past to the present.

Hub, Home, Heart: Greater H Street NE Heritage Trail is an Official Washington, DC Walking Trail. The self-guided, 3.2-mile tour of 18 signs offers about two hours of gentle exercise. Free keepsake guidebooks in English or Spanish are available at businesses and institutions along the way. For more on DC neighborhoods, please visit www.CulturalTourismDC.org.
 
Erected 2012 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 7.)
 
Location. 38° 54.415′ N, 76° 59.979′ W. Marker is in Near Northeast, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of Florida Avenue, NE and 5th Street NE, on the right when traveling west on Florida Avenue, NE. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20002, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Iceman's Arena (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ballard House (about 800 feet away); The Edward Miner Gallaudet Residence (about 800 feet away); Helen Fay House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Denison House
Kolker Family image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2012
4. Kolker Family
Top: Fred Kolker of Kolker Poultry, center, and the schochet (ritual butcher) Moses Yoelson, entertainer Al Jolson's father.

Bottom: Robert Kolker, below, one of the third generation to run Washington Beef here.
(approx. 0.2 miles away); "Ole Jim" (approx. ¼ mile away); Site of the Rose Cottage (approx. ¼ mile away); Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet (approx. ¼ mile away).
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Greater H Street NE Heritage Trail
 
Also see . . .  Union Terminal Market. (Submitted on October 4, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
 
Categories. Civil RightsIndustry & Commerce
 
Nadine Winter and the Market image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2012
5. Nadine Winter and the Market
Left: Executive Director Nadine Winter at Hospitality House, 1969.

Center: A 1971 scene from inside the Farmer's Market building on Sixth St.

Right: This guide from around 1950 shows the market's layout.
Back of Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2012
6. Back of Marker
"Shorty" Echols at the Market image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2012
7. "Shorty" Echols at the Market
George "Shorty" Echols, at age 89, a 60-year veteran of the Union Terminal Market, 1976.
Map of the H Street Heritage Trail image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2012
8. Map of the H Street Heritage Trail
Looking across Florida Avenue at the marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2012
9. Looking across Florida Avenue at the marker
Provisions for the City Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2012
10. Provisions for the City Marker
The Market image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 29, 2012
11. The Market
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 4, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 431 times since then and 37 times this year. Last updated on February 11, 2014, by A. Taylor of Laurel, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on October 4, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement